Almost every aspect of life has been influenced by technology in the last decade. The impact of technology on education since the advent of the World Wide Web has grown tremendously. Technology has created a new method of learning in graduate schools and colleges through online programs and research. The number of students under the online learning program doubled within six years. The research was according to a Business Insider’s article for the years between 2002 and 2008. Online programs not only give graduates a seamless position in today’s working environment but also create and develop innovation and a smart approach to learning. The following are the most profound ways through which technology has impacted education in the current world.
Technology has made education much more accessible than it used to be decades ago. Anyone can access education through online courses from the comfort of their office or home thanks to the internet. All universities, colleges and other institutions of higher learning have diversified and can offer some of their courses online. Other universities have gone a step further and are now offering all their courses on an online platform. Online courses have made it easy for anyone to access their desired education through their computers and mobile devices. In this way, geographical barriers that hindered learning in the past have now been broken by technology
Spiral notebooks and three-ring binders have been replaced by laptops and tablets in today’s technology era. Applications, class websites and other internet tools have enabled students to manage their coursework online instead of using the traditional textbooks, pen, and paper. E-books are becoming a way of life in many learning institutions. For instance, Literature students who are analyzing the fictional novel 1984 by George Orwell, may just surf online for the 1984 study guide without going to a physical library. Online libraries are also one of the ways through which institutions of higher learning are helping their students maximize on learning resources. Learning resources have the advantage of being virtually instantaneous and comprehensive. Resources online also ensure an up to date information pool.
Changing of Roles
With the advent of technology in education, the role of students and teachers is improving on a daily basis. The teacher was in the past the only source of information in the traditional classroom. The students only played the role of passive information receivers. The role of a teacher is gradually changing from a sole information giver to a “guide on the side.” Students are increasingly becoming more responsible for their learning by gathering information using technology. Institutions of higher learning across the country are beginning to adopt this new learning model and redesigning their curriculums to incorporate technology.
As colleges and universities offer more of their courses online, it is now possible for students to learn at their own pace. This is unlike in the past where students were forced to stick to very strict timelines. It is now possible to get an education from anywhere you are. Technology has also ensured that you don’t have to travel to a physical class to learn. Online programs have also allowed students to learn depending on the time at their disposal and their intellectual ability. Learners can schedule their learning timetables as they wish as all study materials are offered online.
Technology has expanded the opportunities for collaboration and communication. Learning collaboration was previously limited to other learners in the same building. Classrooms in the traditional learning had been relatively isolated. Students at a school in the rural areas can, for instance, learn about the Arctic without having to travel. The students can follow a team of expedition scientists through emails, read their blogs or even talk to them directly via video conferencing. The students can go on to share information about what they are learning with other students in other states or other continents. The learners can also collaborate on projects in groups using such tools as Google docs and wikis offered by technology.
Special needs have for years been a critical issue in learning. The traditional classroom has in the past been unable to take care of students who have special needs. The rigid and highly standardized procedures that teachers and students must go through neglect learners with special needs. The accessible and interactive nature of online learning creates an enabling environment for students with special needs to have an equal opportunity at learning. Teachers can also use the various applications availed by technology to assist learners with special needs.
Technology has been able to transform and support education in numerous ways. The internet has made learning affordable and accessible to almost everyone who is willing to learn. Technology has allowed students to access world-class education to help them thrive in the 21st-century’s global economy.
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